Msgr. Lynn loses bid for bail during appeal

Posted: September 13, 2012

Msgr. William J. Lynn will stay in jail, at least for now.

A state appeals court Thursday rejected a bid by the former Archdiocese of Philadelphia official to be free on bail while he appeals his historic child-endangerment conviction.

The Superior Court didn't include an opinion with its order - or even identify which judge made the ruling.

But it effectively adopted the arguments of Philadelphia prosecutors that Lynn's crime was serious and his sentence long enough to keep him behind bars.

Lynn, 61, was sentenced in July to 3 to 6 years in state prison after a jury concluded he endangered children by not removing a known sexual predator from a Northeast Philadelphia parish in the 1990s. His conviction, following a three-month trial, marked the first for a Catholic church supervisor for covering up or enabling clergy sex-abuse.

Lynn's lawyers argued that he poses no public danger or flight risk, has deep local roots, and has a better-than-average chance to win his appeal.

Prosecutors have disputed that argument and contended that freeing him on appeal amounted to unfair special treatment.

One of Lynn's lawyers, Thomas Bergstrom, said Thursday that his defense team would "explore its options," which could include appealing to the state's highest court.

"We are not about giving up," Bergstrom said.

According to state prison records, Lynn is imprisoned at a correctional institution in Waymart, north of Scranton.

Contact John P. Martin at 215-854-4774, at or follow @JPMartinInky on Twitter.

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